THE BATHROOM IS (90%) DONE:
Thursday, January 20, 2011
We hosted the 2nd of our poker nights a few days ago. It was a blast. We have been playing Texas Hold 'Em. It is total amateur night. We have done it twice now. About 18 people each night ..... which makes for 3 tables of 6.
We switch tables and seats twice so that we play with different people. Each time we switch tables, everyone starts with new and equal chip stacks ...... levels the playing field. Anyone that has gone bust starts the new tables with the same as the big winners of the previous tables.
Everyone kicks $5 into the kitty at the beginning of the night. At the end of each round, people report their holdings. At the end of the night, the losers get cab fare home and the winners get more. It is a sliding scale. It has been a gas. It is not possible to lose more than $4 nor win more than $8.
The evening is designed to be fun, and it really has been. And, yep, lots of finger food. I want to thank Bob Gladfelter for hosting poker night like this for years in Topeka. I got the idea from him.
And now on to .......... (drum roll please) ...........
SPIRALING DOWN TO AN EXPAT NIGHTMARE:
I have been signing off on my posts with "Life is Sweet".
I have written that my life is all that I have ever hoped for and more than I ever expected.
I have always reported how much I like the newness of the culture, the variety of experiences.
Hell, I haven't actually complained about wrecking my moto twice. And yes, it does really really hurt. (I think the way to fix this issue is to get a bigger and faster moto.)
So what about the nightmare?
My new bathroom complete with 'urinario" (urinal) was supposed to take two weeks. Today was the end of week 4. What an absolute horror show. I basically have to be here every day. I love this apartment and like to be here. But to be chained to it just about every day? Not so much fun. And the dust?!? Holy mother of god! I spent HOURS Monday wiping everything in the apt down with a wet rag. Today you can write your name in the dust. Not just barely write it ...... I mean boldly. Everywhere. But hey, it will be done mañana. So that is not the nightmare.
After 26 years, Brenda has moved out. She has been in a hotel here in town for the last week. We tried to work it out. Compromised. Made adjustments. We still spend some time together but she is not living here now. All the dust in the apartment was making her sick. She
threatens promises to come back when the work is done. So, that is not the problem.
SO? WHAT IS THE NIGHTMARE?
Peanut Butter. Peanut Butter is el problemo. In the good old USA, if you need PB, you go to the store. Not so much here.
Up until about 3 or 4 months ago, you could always have a supply of JIF Creamy if you were diligent. There might be a month or so when SuperMaxi would be out. But of course, when they had it, I bought in quantities. There are three SuperMaxi's. Occasionally I would have to make a pilgrimage to all three to meet my needs. I got used to this and felt secure with 3 or 4 jars securely stashed. Well, they stopped carrying JIF. Eventually, I had to go with Peter Pan Crunchy. Not great. But better than Peter Pan Smooth. Well, the crunchy ran out and I think I bought the last jar of smooth. What's left? Welches (I think it is Welches) puts out some poison called Goobers. It is stripes of PB with stripes of jelly. I am not sure which is worse, the PB or the jelly. We tried it. Horrible. Threw it out.
So, what am I dong now?
Choice #1: Eat the local stuff called "Schullo". It is a lot like that cr*p they sell in the US health food stores. You know, none of the proper additives, preservatives or stabilizers. Must be stirred before eating. Pretty yucky.
Choice #2: Switch to ice cream as my drug of choice.
- - - - - - - -
A WORD ABOUT THE LOCAL UPSCALE SUPERMARKET:
We do as much of our shopping as we can in the local mercados and small local stores. But some things are not available there. For these you must go to SuperMaxi. It is the only chain of upscale supermarkets. There are 3 of them in town.
Is it just me? Or does the store name suggest some other type of inventory?
Life is sweet,
Monday, January 10, 2011
I AM CONFUSED. I MEAN REALLY, REALLY CONFUSED
According to Wikipedia (which all high school students know is the ultimate 'one stop shopping' source of ALL knowledge) ....... "The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar or the Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582 ......."
OK, FINE. I GET THAT AND THE FOLLOWING:
Wikipedia goes on to explain that most of us (whoever that might be) use this Gregorian calendar. Well, the fact is that we all know that other calendars exist. For instance, the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar. We have all heard of the Mayan calendar (FYI, the lunatic fringe thinks the earth comes to an end next year). There are other calendars with that year of the rat or chicken or goat thing going on. I even suspect that there have been lots of other calendars of which I am unaware.
WHAT I DON'T GET:
What calendar is used here?
From what I can tell by having work done on the apartment (this is the third time).
A WEEK: consists usually of 11 - 13 days. I don't know what the exact names of the days are. I know for instance that Monday = lunes, Tuesday = martes, etc. What the extra 4 - 6 days are named, I am ...... clueless. In fact, I am not even sure that Saturday (as I know it) actually ='s sabado as my handy dandy Franklin Travel Ace Pocket Translator tells me. For instance last week (or was it this week on the magic calendar) I stupidly thought that when the workers would be back at 8:00 AM Saturday ........ Well apparently that meant 10:30 AM on what I think of as Monday. Maybe there was a manana thrown in there that I stupidly thought of as the next day (Saturday).
NOW I AM CONFUSING EVEN MYSLEF ...... SO BACK ON POINT HERE:
The names of the extra 4 to 6 days a week simply have to be "manana". All of them. Where they actually appear in a week is still a mystery to me. What work will actually be done on them ...... yet another mystery. In fact, I am not even sure that Tuesday actually follows Monday, and if so, how many mananas are slipped in there. It is even possible, just possible that Tuesday precedes Monday. Possible. I am beginning to feel kind of anal retentive here.
If I ever get it all figured out, I will let you know.
RE CLOCKS AND THE TIME OF DAY:
Well the answer to that is simple. "TIME ZONE DIFFERENTIAL". When you look at a time zone map, you would think that we are in the same time zone as New York (Eastern Time) ...... US daylight savings makes it a little more complicated. But just a very little.
BACK TO UNRAVELING THE "TIME ZONE DIFFERENTIAL":
- 8:00 AM could mean 8:00 AM Rocky Mountain time (10:00 AM Eastern).
- However if you are having Direct TV installed ..... 8:00 AM apparently does mean 8:00 AM somewhere in Asia ....... or about 6:00 PM Eastern.
THE TRICK IS:
Learn to always ask what time zone. (A que hora la zona?)
So far nothing has actually happened on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
My new bathroom may actually be done this Friday ......... as I understand Friday to be. Which would make 2 weeks = 23 days. Which side of the international dateline ...... not sure.
Beware of "manana in la manana". Should translate as 'tomorrow in the morning'. Yeah, right! It would take a wizard to divine what that actually means. There is absolutely no spot on your Gregorian calendar where you can accurately pencil this in.
I am NOT complaining. Simply making observations. My life is all I ever hoped it would be and more than I ever expected.
Life is Sweet,